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Talos II quickstart

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Red Hat

There are some simply cool things going on in the OpenPOWER space, like Microwatt, an implementation of the POWER instruction set that runs on an FPGA and boots Linux. If you don't trust the chips from IBM, Microwatt is a really interesting alternative.

Do you need a workstation class computer?

If you don't actually need a workstation class computer then any of the systems mentioned here are going to look quite expensive. If you do need a workstation then there are ways to build the Talos II or Blackbird and ensure you get value for money.

As an example, for a small IT support team of 2 to 4 people, it is possible to build a multi-seat configuration (example for Fedora), connecting all four users directly to the same Talos II computer. The cost of the computer is split up to 4 ways but any one user can exploit the power of the system when needed. The upcoming AMD Radeon Big Navi GPUs, which were leaked this week, are rumoured to have 16GB of video RAM, easily enough to attach four 4k displays.

Read more

OpenPOWER Summit 2020 Was This Week

  • OpenPOWER Summit 2020 Was This Week With Many Interesting Hardware/Software Talks

    In addition to XDC2020 this past week, the Linux Foundation hosted the virtual OpenPOWER Summit North America 2020 event as well with a mix of interesting hardware and software presentations.

    Recordings from the virtual event aren't yet available but will be soon via the OpenPOWER Foundation YouTube channel but there are slide decks for many of the presentations.

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Security Leftovers

  • Videoconferencing Malware, Vizom, Discovered [Ed: Wrong. Zoom itself is malware and they admit having back doors.]

    It was probably only a matter of time before the cyber attackers hit videoconferencing software in 2020. Apps such as Zoom had a bona fide boon this year because of the world health crisis. Researchers discovered a new form of malware that uses remote overlay attacks to hit Brazilian bank account holders who use videoconferencing software. [...] Phishing campaigns spread Vizom, disguising it as Zoom. Once the malware accesses a Windows computer, it hits the AppData directory to start infecting the system. Using DLL hijacking, it tries to force malicious DLLs to be loaded, using names the attackers believe are on the software directories for the Delphi-based variants.

  • Combating abuse in Matrix - without backdoors.

    Last Sunday, the UK Government published an international statement on end-to-end encryption and public safety, co-signed by representatives from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan. The statement is well written and well worth a read in full, but the central point is this:

    We call on technology companies to [...] enable law enforcement access to content in a readable and usable format where an authorisation is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight.
    In other words, this is an explicit request from seven of the biggest governments in the world to mandate a backdoor in end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) communication services: a backdoor to which the authorities have a secret key, letting them view communication on demand. This is big news, and is of direct relevance to Matrix as an end-to-end encrypted communication protocol whose core team is currently centred in the UK. Now, we sympathise with the authorities’ predicament here: we utterly abhor child abuse, terrorism, fascism and similar - and we did not build Matrix to enable it. However, trying to mitigate abuse with backdoors is, unfortunately, fundamentally flawed.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

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  • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 161 released

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    [ Chris Lamb ]
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      - Reapply Black and bump minimum version to 20.8b1.
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